You can report foreclosure fraud by visiting one of several sites dedicated to helping consumers combat this growing problem including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) if you are in the United States or Canada, or you can file an informal complaint on scam related websites. If these outlets fail to get you the results you are looking for, you can also file a private complaint or lawsuit with a local attorney specializing in fraud. There are various types of foreclosure fraud, but all are illegal in most areas.
Foreclosure fraud takes many forms, but it generally involves taking money from consumers who are facing a foreclosure with the promise of consolidating debt or stopping the foreclosure process. Not all companies who offer these services are fraudulent, as there are many businesses who actually can help consumers with financial hardships and potential foreclosure. There are several warning signs that a company may potentially be running a fraudulent operation.
Businesses that claim they can definitely stop your foreclosure are likely frauds, since there is no way to guarantee that all consumers can be helped in this way. Companies requiring a fee up front for their services, who try and convince you to give them personal financial information during an initial online or phone consultation, or who advise you to sign over the deed to your house may also be frauds. Never give a company money up front and read all contracts carefully before signing. If you are facing a foreclosure, be sure to investigate any potential companies who offer assistance.
Many mortgage lending companies offer services through their websites or loan officers for reporting foreclosure fraud. You would normally do this through an online form and then wait for a reply. Many of these services are offered by attorneys who work with or for mortgage lenders.
You may also choose to file a separate complaint with your local BBB. This organization aims to promote fair business practices and will give the offending company the chance to redeem the situation. Not all companies are listed on their website, however, and a fraudulent company may not be properly licensed or listed in order for you to file a formal complaint.
Another option you can use to warn other consumers of potential foreclosure fraud is to post your story on one of many scam and rip-off themed websites. This will generally not gain you financial retribution, but will act to alert others who may be going through a foreclosure. Be sure you check with your attorney before filing an information or formal complaint with various sites and companies if you have already begun a lawsuit or other legal proceedings.